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DG FastChannel compression failure

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Mark Grossardt
DG FastChannel compression failure
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:32:24 pm

Hi all,

We're having the same problem on two different machines in our shop, and we're wondering if anyone else has run into this issue.

We create DG FastChannel ready mpegs by sending a FCP sequence to Compressor that executes a preset in Episode. Our workflow and the resulting problems are as follows:

1. Send sequence (uncompressed 10-bit, 4:2:2, 48 kHz Stereo) to compressor and apply DG fastchannel preset.
2. When we hit go, we get an error message that says "Failed - FCP generated an error or unexpectantly quitUser aborted Media Server"
3. Close compressor and FCP. Reopen and try submitting sequence again.
4. Now compressor immediately pops up an error message saying "Preview not available because FCP is in use".
5. At this point, compressing to many other formats will also fail. When we try to compress, same problem as #2 above.
6. We then close out both apps and run FCP Rescue to remove and reset FCP preferences.
7. We can then compress using any other setting in compressor, but when we try using the DG fastchannel preset, then the whole problem starts again.

Our failed attempts to resolve the problem so far have included: wiping Final Cut Studio from the drive and reinstalling, downgrading to QT 7.6, disk cleanup, repair permissions, and trashing prefs.

The problem didn't seem to pop up until we upgraded to FCP 6.0.6, Episode 5.2.1, and QT 7.6.2 all around the same time. We suspect that the problem lies somewhere in the FCP 6.0.6 upgrade. But it's hard to get a read on since no one else seems to be experiencing this problem.


Machine 1:
Intel MacPro, 3 Ghz octocore, Tiger 10.4.11, FCP 6.0.6, Compressor 3.0.5, Episode 5.2.1, QT 7.6.2, FCP Rescue 6.0

Machine 2:
PowerMac G5, 2.7 Ghz dualcore, Tiger 10.4.11, FCP 6.0.6, Compressor 3.0.5, Episode 5.2.2, QT 7.6.2, FCP Rescue 6.0

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Craig Seeman
Re: DG FastChannel compression failure
on Sep 4, 2009 at 4:31:00 pm

First, to get the job done, try exporting self contained and using Episode.

Are you using Episode Compressor plugin? Did you install the one that came with Episode 5.2.1 as it's a significant update to the plugin.

I've always felt FCP send to Compressor was a bit unreliable. You need to find the point of failure. First use Self Contained in Episode directly (and you'll have the job done), then you self contained in Compressor with plugin. That'll let you know if it's either Compressor and/or the plugin. If that all works then you know it's FCP's communication with Compressor.

Often times once you try and fail "control" isn't relinquished. You may have to kill Compressor related tasks in Activity Monitor and reboot.

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Mark Grossardt
Re: DG FastChannel compression failure
on Sep 4, 2009 at 5:08:38 pm

Hi Craig,

Thanks for the quick response. I should have added that we have been making QT reference movies to dump directly into Episode to get the work out the door. It's a workaround that's getting us by for now, but once we have more huge projects come in, we're going to need that one-step functionality back.

We did install the Episode 5.2.1 Compressor plug.

Dumping both a QT ref or a self contained QT directly into Compressor, then applying the preset gives another weird result in that it quickly compresses an mpeg file that only plays audio when viewed with QT or VLC.

So, I'm guessing we're looking at a Compressor to Episode plugin issue, since we can export other formats FCP>Compressor and Episode itself seems to be solid as a stand alone.

Would it then make sense to downgrade to Episode 5?

Thanks again.

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Daniel Low
Re: DG FastChannel compression failure
on Sep 4, 2009 at 9:33:49 pm

Tiger? I'd be on Leopard if I was you.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Steve Ballmer To USA Today

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Mark Grossardt
Re: DG FastChannel compression failure
on Sep 10, 2009 at 5:27:04 pm

I think we're going to try to downgrade to an earlier version of Episode to see if that fixes our bug. Anyone have any experience wiping Episode from the drive and installing an older version?

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